Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, and with 1.2 billion people living there, it has the second-largest population in the world. Africa contains a whopping 54 countries, 9 territories, and 2 independent states. Due to the continent’s large size—it covers 20% of the earth’s land area—it has countries in both the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere. And it’s surrounded by multiple bodies of water, including the Indian and Atlantic oceans, the Mediterranean and Red seas, and the Isthmus of Suez. With all this water surrounding the continent, it should come as no surprise that Africa offers up some excellent beaches. We’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa, so start thinking about what swimsuit to wear and keep on reading to check out the options.
1. Praia de Santa Maria, Cape Verde
We’ll start our list off with Praia de Santa Maria located on Sal island, Cape Verde’s most popular island. The beach is located in the south of Sal, and it is one of the most popular beaches on the island. This beach offers plenty of activities. Of course, those who want a golden glow can relax on the warm sand, and you can take a dip in the clear turquoise waters. Fishing boats dot the shore, and there’s a fishing pier, so you can bring your pole and aim for a good catch, or purchase the catch of the day from professional fishermen. And of course, there’s a bar where you can enjoy a refreshing drink. And the beach doesn’t just offer fun in the summer—in the winter it’s a popular spot for windsurfing and sailing. Each September, it’s also home to Festival da Praia de Santa Maria, a music festival.
Praia de Santa Maria
Address: Southwest of Santa Maria in Sal, Cape Verde
2. Watamu Beach, Kenya
Watamu Beach is located in the small Kenyan town of Watamu, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. This small town is known for being laid back, and as it’s one of the more undeveloped areas along the coast, much of its natural beauty has been preserved. The beach has beautiful white sand and clear waters which lead to beautiful coral formations. As such, snorkeling is a popular activity on Watamu Beach. And as it’s a quieter beach, it’s an excellent place to relax in general: watch the sun rise or set, go for a walk along the shore, or take a refreshing dip in the water.
3. Clifton Beaches, South Africa
Clifton is a wealthy suburb of South Africa’s Cape Town. It boasts luxury real estate which looks out into the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and a set of four beautiful beaches. These beaches are frequented by locals and tourists alike, featuring white sand and surrounded by picturesque cliffs. The beaches are of course popular spots for sunbathers, but they are also hot spots for those after more sporty adventures: surfers dot the waves and you’ll catch plenty of people playing volleyball on the sand.
4. Beau Vallon Bay Beach, Seychelles
Located in Seychelles is Beau Vallon Bay Beach, one of its most popular beaches. Even with its popularity amongst tourists, it still has a sleepy, relaxed vibe. The water is calm and gentle, making it an excellent place to go for a swim, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Its waters are also clear and full of coral reefs, making it an excellent spot to go snorkeling. And there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, including boat tours and jet ski rentals. There’s also a bar on the beach as well as many restaurants nearby. This beach offers a little something for everyone.
Beau Vallon Bay Beach
Address: Victoria Beau Vallon, Mahe, Seychelles
5. Paje Beach, Zanzibar
Our next beach brings us to Zanzibar, Tanzania. Paje Beach is a long strip along the Indian Ocean with beautiful white sand and clear warm waters. It’s one of the island’s quieter beaches, so if you’re looking to get away from the crowds, Paje Beach is an excellent choice. It’s also a great beach to visit if you like water sports. It’s a great surfing and kitesurfing spot, and its clear waters also make it a great place to go snorkeling—you can spot turtles, starfish, and moray eels. There’s also plenty of beachside eateries, including some with seats right on the sand, so when you’re hungry, you can enjoy a meal with beautiful views.
6. Buffalo Bay Beach, South Africa
If you’ll be traveling with family, especially kids, Buffalo Bay Beach is a great choice. It offers a little something for everyone and waters which are safe to swim in. Located in South Africa, this beach sports white sand and it is surrounded by bush. Tourists and locals alike visit the beach to swim, fish, boat, and surf. And of course, it’s the perfect spot to catch some rays if you’re working on your tan. The beach sits within the Goukamma Nature Reserve, meaning the natural beauty of the area is protected. If you would like to walk and you want to take in this beauty, we recommend taking a stroll along the beach to nearby towns—this is an especially beautiful walk at sunrise or sunset.
Buffalo Bay Beach
Address: 163 Walker Dr, Buffels Bay, 6571, South Africa
7. Anse Lazio, Seychelles
Now let’s head back to the Seychelles to Anse Lazio. This beach is located on Praslin Island and it is on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The beach is surrounded by granite boulders and boasts stunning turquoise waters. It’s no surprise that this picturesque beach is a popular one, with people flocking to dot its white sand and to swim in its clear waters. But it’s well worth the trip! Aside from swimming and sunbathing, snorkeling is a popular activity at Anse Lazio. There are a few restaurants on either end of the beach, so you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the beautiful view.
8. Tamarin Bay, Mauritius
If you like to surf, a visit to Tamarin Bay is an absolute must. Considered as one of the best surfing spots in the world, Tamarin Bay is located on the western coast of Mauritius. The bay is surrounded by an old fishing village, though today, Tamarin is a popular spot for visitors on holiday. In addition to surfing, you’ll find plenty of people walking along this beach’s shores, getting in a bit of exercise. It’s also a popular spot for people who like to see dolphins—these cute animals frequent the bay and you can take boat rides to try and spot them.
9. Diani Beach, Kenya
Diani Beach sits along the Indian Ocean on Kenya’s coast. This white-sand beach is one of the most popular in Africa, drawing a wide variety of visitors from families to couples to partygoers. And considering the wealth of things there are to do on this beautiful beach, it’s easy to see why it attracts so many people. Activities include kitesurfing, diving, snorkeling, and dolphin-spotting. And of course, you can simply relax on the warm sand and take in the views. There’s also plenty to draw in people in the general area, including luxury hotels and plenty of restaurants.
10. Grotto Beach, South Africa
We’ll finish off our list with South Africa’s Grotto Beach. This sandy stretch along the Atlantic is a popular spot for swimming, with its clean waters and ample safety measures. It’s a beautiful spot to visit, boasting white sand, blue waters, and surrounding mountains. Grotto Beach is a dog-friendly beach, so you’ll often spot people walking their four-legged friend along the water’s edge. There are also restaurants along the beach so you can stop for a bite to eat.
Address: Grotto St, Hermanus, 7200, South Africa
Beautiful beaches to choose from
It’s no surprise that a continent as large as Africa has plenty of beaches to offer its visitors. Whether you’re a surfer looking for the best waves, a swimmer after calm waters, or a thrill-seeker looking for water sports, you’re bound to find a beach that suits you. So pick your favorite and start planning your trip to one of Africa’s beaches.
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